Highway patrollers donate blood
THE police officers from the Richmond Highway Patrol are used to tending to the car crash victims who end up receiving donated blood.
But this week they turned the tables and donated their own blood ahead of the busy and often dangerous holiday season.
Richmond Highway Patrol officer-in-charge Sergeant Jodie Hamilton said the Christmas period was the busiest time for police.
"We are coming up to a period where there are a lot of people on the road," Sgt Hamilton said.
"There are tourists and local people who are travelling to the beach and to parties.
"There is a greater risk for these drivers.
"It is a high accident period."
Over the past 12 months, police in the Richmond Local Area Command had seen a 64% increase in speed-related collisions.
"That is a real concern when people are travelling and not concentrating on the road," Sgt Hamilton said.
There had also been a 70% increase in the number of restraint- and helmet-related injuries in vehicle crashes.
"This is a time when I start to get concerned," Sgt Hamilton said.
"We do have an increase in these categories and it does not help when we go into the busy period with these increases.
"People get relaxed because it's the holidays and they get complacent."
It was Senior Constable Peter Kirk's first time giving blood but luckily he had the support and the friendly taunting of his colleagues.
"The Christmas period is busy and can be very dangerous for everyone on the roads," Snr Const Kirk said.
"If I can help in any way I do."
After the blood was drained, the needle was out and a biscuit was in sight, Snr Const Kirk said the whole process wasn't too bad.
Snr Const Rob Clark also gave blood for the first time.
The Lismore Blood Bank is currently low in blood supply.
To make a donation appointment call 13 14 95.